Laura MortonJune 7, 2018 (Jackson, Miss.) - The Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) honored Laura Morton, associate professor of dance, with the 2018 Excellence in Higher Education Award.

“I am thrilled that Laura has been named the recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Higher Education Award,” said Krista Bower, chair of the Belhaven Dance Department. “I am continually impressed by Laura's capabilities as a dance educator, choreographer, and scholar. Laura pours into the lives of her students and colleagues as she teaches, mentors, and creates. She motivates her students to pursue excellence in all areas of their lives, and she is committed to preparing them for their careers.”

Morton's background includes extensive training in classical ballet, jazz, and modern from prestigious dance educators such as Anne and Nicholas Polajenko, ABT's Alexander Minz, and at Ballet West with director Bruce Marks and Toni Lander. Her professional credits include Milwaukee Ballet, Delia Stewart Dance Company, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, and Ad Deum Dance Company.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Houston and a Master of Science degree in Applied Exercise Physiology from Mississippi College. Morton has taught nationally and internationally. Her teaching credentials include serving on the faculties of Summer Arts Session, Pacific Northwest School of Ballet, Evergreen City Ballet, Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy, and Ad Deum Dance Company. While holding these various positions, her responsibilities included instructing, rehearsing, restaging classical ballets, choreographing, as well as lighting designer and stage manager.

The award ceremony is June 13, 2018 at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gulfport, Miss.